Fifty Shades of Rain
Rain hangs about the place, like a friendly ghost. If it’s not coming down in delicate droplets, then it’s in buckets; and if neither, then it tends to lurk suspiciously about in the atmosphere.Barbara Acton-Bond
It’s the twenty third of January, and I swear we haven’t had a day without rain since the New Year.
Worms are literally drowning in the streets. I’m not shitting you.
Here in the Pacific Northwest we have many ways to describe rain, and our Meteorologists seem to go out of their way to use various descriptive terms for the same damn process.
As someone who appreciates a good turn of a phrase, I can’t help but notice, while reading any long range forecast for this time of year, how prolific the descriptive terms for drops of water falling from the sky can be.
Tell me dear weather person, what is the difference between showery, clouds with showers, intermittent showers and occasional rain? Are rain squalls the same as periods of rain? Are rain showers the same as sun showers just without the sun? How long did you devote yourself to the study of the language of rain?
How does one differentiate between the terms showers likely, a possibility of showers, and a chance of showers? Are there subtle differences in the meanings of these terms or are you just trying to avoid being repetitive? Do you guys have some kind of code book you use to decide which phrase is most indicative of what will actually take place on the ground or are you just padding your paychecks with overtime hours coming up with this stuff?… Instead of just typing RAIN.
If I had to choose my favorite PNW term for rainy weather, it would be “atmospheric river”. Basically, this is a big ass rain storm swirling around off the west coast lapping up water, that, when it hits land, will feel like a big ass river being poured over your head should you find it necessary to step outside at any time during this “rain event”, which is another great term.
If you ask me, this all sounds rather theatrical, maybe even biblical, don’t you think? Considering we are still only talking about RAIN.
And speaking of rain, the long range forecast I just checked showed RAIN every day out until next Tuesday, at which time, there is an icon with a little round yellow orb bookended by gray clouds.
I think that means there may be a chance of sunshine on Tuesday! Or perhaps I should say cloudy with some sun? But it might also be best described as cloudy with periods of sunshine, or perhaps it will be a partly sunny day. Then again it might end up being partly cloudy, or with sun giving way to clouds or clouds giving way to sun. Sun with periods of clouds? Clouds with partial clearing?
We’ll take it.
There is a yellow disc in the forecast. I prefer to think of it as an atmospheric river of light. And after the month we’ve had here, it will definitely feel biblical.